Categories: Physics

Large Hadron Collider Restarts After 3 Years of Upgrades: Particle Collisions at World-Record Energy Levels

Particle Collision Illustration

The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, restarted on April 22, 2022, after more than three years of maintenance, consolidation, and upgrade work.

Beams of protons are again circulating around the collider’s 27-kilometer ring, marking the end of a multiple-year hiatus for upgrade work.

In 2022, CERN is restarting the LHC after more than three years of maintenance and upgrades, known as Long Shutdown 2 (LS2). Once restarted, the energy will climb to world-record levels as CERN begins LHC Run 3 for physics research. Then July 4 will mark #Higgs10, the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs boson.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, has restarted after a break of more than three years for maintenance, consolidation, and upgrade work. Today, April 22, 2022, at 12:16 CEST, two beams of protons circulated in opposite directions around the Large Hadron Collider’s 27-kilometer (16.8 mile) ring at their injection energy of 450 billion electronvolts (450 GeV).

“These beams circulated at injection energy and contained a relatively small number of protons. High-intensity, high-energy collisions are a couple of months away,” says Rhodri Jones, the Head of CERN’s Beams department. “But first beams represent the successful restart of the accelerator after all the hard work of the long shutdown.”

The LHC tunnel at point 1. Credit: CERN

“The machines and facilities underwent major upgrades during the second long shutdown of CERN’s accelerator complex,” says CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Technology, Mike Lamont. “The LHC itself has undergone an extensive consolidation program and will now operate at an even higher energy and, thanks to major improvements in the injector complex, it will deliver significantly more data to the upgraded LHC experiments.”

Pilot beams circulated in the LHC for a brief period in October 2021. However, the beams that circulated today mark not only the end of the second long shutdown for the LHC but also the beginning of preparations for four years of physics-data taking, which is expected to start this summer.

Until then, LHC experts will work around the clock to progressively recommission the machine and safely ramp up the energy and intensity of the beams before delivering collisions to the experiments at a record energy of 13.6 trillion electronvolts (13.6 TeV).

This third run of the LHC, called Run 3, will see the machine’s experiments collecting data from collisions not only at a record energy but also in unparalleled numbers. The ATLAS and CMS experiments can each expect to receive more collisions during this physics run than in the two previous physics runs combined, while LHCb, which underwent a complete revamp during the shutdown, can hope to see its collision count increase by a factor of three. Meanwhile, ALICE, a specialized detector for studying heavy-ion collisions, can expect a fifty times increase in the total number of recorded ion collisions, thanks to the recent completion of a major upgrade.

The unprecedented number of collisions will allow international teams of physicists at CERN and across the world to study the Higgs boson in great detail and put the Standard Model of particle physics and its various extensions to the most stringent tests yet.

Other things to look forward to in Run 3 include the operation of two new experiments, FASER and SND@LHC, designed to look for physics beyond the Standard Model; special proton–helium collisions to measure how often the antimatter counterparts of protons are produced in these collisions; and collisions involving oxygen ions that will improve physicists’ knowledge of cosmic-ray physics and the quark–gluon plasma, a state of matter that existed shortly after the Big Bang.

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  • Maybe this will throw us back to our former reality before Trump and Covid and Ukraine Russia and everything.

  • Ok.
    Are they still going to use the Big Bang theory as the blueprint to decipher the findings?
    Are they still going to assume a cloud of gas and dust can make a star?
    Are they still going to assume fusion is the ultimate energy source in our universe?
    Are they still going to assume black holes are made of singularities?
    Are they going to assume that the only "quark gluon plasma" existed at the beginning of the universe and no other time its history?
    Are they still going to assume that normal matter creates its own gravity instead of dark matter doing it?
    Are they still going to believe in supernovae?

    Well, then no advancements will be made. The only thing that will help is realizing that Edwin Hubble discovered the galaxies expanding, not the universe. The Big Bang was our universe turning itself into a gargantuan particle collider. That is what created the energy we see, not gravity. That is what made the galaxies expand, not "dark energy".

    The only way to understand what these machines create is to go through a paradigm shift.

  • Hope they discover something worthwhile without begging more money for another upgrade. It's getting to be like this whole humans to Mars thing. Lots of money being spent and not likely to have the return promised.

    • I believe more proper names for them include, Reality Denialists, Science Denialists, Unherd denialists, t*** pian denialists, flat earthers, Theists, Deists, Faux news presenters, Rupert Murdoch and his family, Putin and his facilitators and supporters, anti-democracy terrorists, the GOP, Qanon, Hannitty, *ucker Carlson, Marj Taylor Greene (who has apparently forgotten almost everything she did and said to cause and support the insurrection such as her many lunatic Qanon sayings)anti-vaxxers, Climate change denialists, etc. In short all the usual nutters and liars. Who knew?

  • What is a "naysayer"? Someone that knows all the problems that need to be addressed?

    To me, a naysayer is someone who isn't looking to solve any of the problems. They only want to hear what they want to hear. Anyone that tries to contradict any attempt to fix the problems is a naysayer.

    People simply need to understand the subject better before they call anyone names. These problems have been considered for decades with no progress made at all. This isn't the only particle collider. The questions exist at all of them. In a way, the only "crackpots" are the ones that continue to assume the theory that has kept the problems unsolved the whole time.

  • Shut up, idiot. Trump may have said stupid things, but Biden is the corrupt, senile sock puppet mouthpiece of the most incompetent administration in US history.

  • Oh history eh? You're a history buff like Trump. You know a recent rant isn't history you know. Well over 6,000 years in cities, another 40k of hunter gatherers. You people bandy that word round a lot. I've spent decades trying to understand it but you twats seem to know it all.

    • Yes! A black hole every time it turns on.
      Or something world-ending like that. I'm amazed that we're still here.

  • You know I see the data, the science, the math, and all of the wonderful theories that everyone debates, and argues their opinions. They're all so full of wonder, curiosity, and passion. The whole process of existence is sprung upon us without our permission or our choice. Therefore everything we think we know as fact or truth or definite is actually proof that we are still very young in evolution. We're nieve, ignorant, and stubborn. Almost primordial still. Problem solving, communication, common sense, and having a conscience separated us from other Earth life forms. But when you do the science, the math, and the problem is solved we're still left with one very important problem,,, "we are all unimportant forms of energy that were created in a science experiment with a task to complete". The only thing that we all have in common and is the only thing in existence that is a absolute definite is "Death".

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